In a season where nothing really went as planned in the unpredictable Pac-12, no team suffered more than the Washington Huskies. After a 10-2 start, the Huskies lost two consecutive games before blowing out the USC Trojans.
While it may have been a reason for celebration at the time, they soon discovered that starting point guard Quade Green was academically ineligible for the rest of the season. Since the loss of Green, the Huskies have gone just 4-12 overall.
The news is not all bad, though, as coming into the Pac-12 tournament, Washington has won three of four games, including a six-point win over Arizona in Tuscon to wrap up the regular season. The Huskies led 40-23 early in the second half before just holding on for the win.
Arizona finished the season at 20-11 overall and a somewhat disappointing 10-8 in a Pac-12 that wasn’t considered to be incredibly strong. The Wildcats are led by a trio of freshmen in Nico Mannion (14 points, five rebounds), Josh Green (12 points, five rebounds), and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Zeke Nnaji (16 points and nine rebounds).
The early knock on the Wildcats was that they could not win away from home, that label was briefly dispelled when won four in a row against the Washington schools as well as Cal and Stanford, and they sat at 19-7.
Arizona then struggled in the stretch, losing four of their final five games, including the aforementioned home game against Washington.
Arizona is a 4.5-point favorite for this one, with the over/under set at 139.
This dog don’t hunt
For as poorly as the season has gone for the Huskies, their trends are even worse. Washington is just 12-19 against the spread overall this season, making them the worst in the Pac-12 at 38.7%.
They are a respectable 3-2 straight up in neutral site games this season, but just 2-7 SU in true road games. Those records are mirrored against the spread as well.
In their last 13 games, they are just 3-10 ATS and 3-10 straight up. Of course, the Huskies are also 5-1 ATS in their last six games against Arizona.
Wildcats winless in neutral court games
Arizona has been an inconsistent 16-15 against the spread on the season, which is expected given their youth, but 0-4 ATS in neutral site games against Penn, Pepperdine, Wake Forest, and St. Johns is downright shocking.
Arizona also struggles in close games, going 3-7 in games decided by five points or fewer. The total has gone under in six of their last nine games overall and five of their last seven games against Washington.
Two teams that are difficult to wager one
This game would typically be a stay-away game as far as the line goes, but I would take the under and feel pretty good about it. However, the Huskies are 310th in the nation in turnover percentage at over 21%, and Arizona is a top 80 team in defensive turnover percentage.
The Wildcats are also surprisingly decent at protecting the ball on the offensive end.
Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels are both future NBA players for Washington, but they just don’t have the guard play to hang with Arizona in this type of setting. The neutral site location performances by the Wildcats this season are concerning.
But this Washington team has been the worst in the Pac-12 for the better part of five weeks, and I don’t expect them to give an Arizona team looking to improve their seeding much of a game. Give me the Wildcats by double digits and the under.
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